OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Some Oklahomans are having trouble purchasing homes, and are being forced to rent.
One Oklahoma lawmaker says this is because out-of-state corporations are flooding Oklahoma's housing market.
According to the National Real Estate Association, Oklahoma is third in the nation for corporations owning homes.
"The main business model for these out-of-state investors, and these out-of-state corporate landlords, is to gobble up the housing market with the intent of making everyone renters and not homeowners. They want to have people rent the American dream, not own it," said State Representative Mickey Dollens, House District 93.
This is making it almost impossible for some Oklahomans to buy homes.
"Right now. You have a lot of first-time homebuyers. Veterans who are fully qualified people who are fully qualified to borrow for an FHA loan, a conventional loan, but they're simply getting beat out in this market by cash offers that are 20 to 25%. over asking price," said Rep. Dollens.
Issues like homeownership by corporations have the potential to impact the living conditions of Oklahomans.
"This is rampant across the entire state these out-of-state corporate landlords see that we have weak tenant protection laws, and they are preying on their vulnerabilities," Rep. Dollens said.
According to Rep. Dollens, Oklahoma is one of six states that does NOT have anti-retaliation laws to protect tenants from vindictive landlords.
"In Oklahoma, if you were a tenant and you were to make a formal complaint about basic improvements that needed to be made. If you were to go on the news and say Hey, back in my apartment, we don't have air conditioning. In Oklahoma, the landlord could evict or raise your rent," he said.
Rep. Dollens is requesting a study to find a correlation to come up with some common-sense policy proposals that will prioritize Oklahomans for homeownership, and give them a level playing field when investing in their future,
"Is to shine a light on the glaring issues that we have in Oklahoma where we're not prioritizing everyday average working Oklahomans and putting the corporate landlords and the corporations and business owners above the basic people's need," said Rep. Dollens.
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